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Kareem Hunt latest NFL hold-in, Cleveland Browns not expected to play ball

Jason Burgos
cleveland browns, kareem hunt
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt is the newest NFL player that is holding in at training camp instead of holding out. However, he may not have quite the same leverage to get a new lucrative contract as some other players this summer.

Holding out of camp has become a classic strategy for NFL players dissatisfied with their current pay rate. For Superstar players and Pro Bowlers, the tactic can often work but it can also be detrimental to performance and locker room relationships.

However, in 2022 several athletes have decided to hold in at their team’s training camp. Instead of being away from teammates and viewed as malcontent, they are at camp but only contributing on a limited basis, or not at all. The strategy worked recently for wide receiver Deebo Samuel and Diontae Johnson, as both landed new long-term deals in the last couple of weeks.

Related: Cleveland Browns schedule: Preseason gets started with Jacksonville Jaguars

Browns’ three-year veteran Kareem Hunt has reportedly put a twist on the 2022 hold in technique, and after taking part in team practices over the opening weeks of training camp, he has now decided to be a limited contributor going forward as he seeks out a better contract.

Kareem Hunt lacking leverage in Cleveland Browns training camp hold in

cleveland browns, kareem hunt
Credit: USA Today Network

On Saturday, CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson reported that Hunt is not interested in taking part in team drills going forward until he gets a pay raise.

“Browns RB Kareem Hunt—currently seeking a contract extension—did not participate in team drills for the second consecutive practice on Saturday. Hunt told the team multiple times recently, his current plan is to participate in individuals drills only.”

Report on Kareem hunt hold-in

Anderson added a league source informed her that Friday was the first time Hunt did not compete in team drills. “I’ve been told several times Hunt periodically has said to members of the team informally –he wants to get paid or traded. However, one source emphasized they believe Hunt would like to stay in Cleveland.”

  • Kareem Hunt stats (2021): 8 games, 78 rushes, 386 yards, 5 TDs

In 2020, Hunt signed a two-year extension with Cleveland worth $12 million (via Spotrac). He is set to make $1.35 million as a base salary this season.

Hunt does not have much leverage in this situation. After earning Pro Bowl honors in his rookie season with the Kansas City Chiefs he has had difficulties staying healthy, including missing nine games in 2021 because of ankle and calf injuries. His best season in Cleveland came two years ago when he rushed for 841 yards and six touchdowns. Beyond that, he has only managed to play in 16 games over his two other years with the Browns.

In further proof of that fact, after holding out of team drills for a second day the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reported that the team “planned to let him play out the season and then revisit the expiring contract afterward,” and they are likely to fine him for missing team drills.